What You Need to Know About Computer Hardware

Computer hardware is the physical components that make up a computer. These include the CPU (central processing unit), random-access memory, monitor, keyboard and mouse, computer data storage, graphics card, sound card, speakers and motherboard. In this article, you will learn about the basics of the different types of computer hardware and how they work together to make a computer work.

Optical drive

An optical drive is a type of computer hardware that allows you to read and write data from DVDs, CDs, and Blu-ray discs. Optical drives have several benefits, including being faster than magnetic drives and saving space. There are two main types of optical drives: internal and external. External drives are placed outside the chassis, while internal drives are integrated into the computer. They can be attached to your computer via a USB port or can be permanently installed in your computer.

Hard disk drive

A hard disk drive is an integral part of your computer hardware. Hard disk drives are typically 3.5-inch or 2.5-inch in size. Despite their large sizes, these devices are relatively lightweight, weighing between 550 and 700 grams. Their first appearance was as a storage device for floppy-disk machines, introduced by IBM in 1956. The first HDDs were small, and their initial capacities were only five to ten megabytes.


A computer monitor is an electronic device for displaying text and pictures. It usually consists of a display, some circuitry, and a casing. Modern monitors have liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and LED backlighting. Former models used cathode ray tubes and gas-plasma displays. These monitors are connected to a computer via VGA (Video Graphics Array), DisplayPort, HDMI, and low-voltage differential signaling.

Sound card

A sound card is a piece of computer hardware used to convert digital audio data into analog audio. The sound card is installed inside the computer case and is not connected as an external peripheral. It connects to the motherboard via a PCI or PCIe card slot. Sound card software interacts with the hardware to set up parameters, control the hardware, and perform hardware checks. Some sound cards also include software for recording, burning, and editing music.

Graphics card

The graphics card in computer hardware is responsible for displaying the images and videos on a computer monitor. The CPU, or central processing unit, sends instructions to the GPU, which processes those instructions and rapidly updates its onboard memory (VRAM). The GPU uses this memory to create and display images, changing their lines, textures, lighting, shading, and more.

Power supply unit

A Power supply unit (PSU) is the main power source for computers and other computer hardware. This device changes voltage, which is why it is called a power supply. In the United States, domestic power supplies operate at 120 volts. The power supply unit is often connected to other electrical devices via a bundle of cables that are usually colour-coded.

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